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BPI Energy Audit Package #1 Basic

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BPI Energy Audit Package #3 Professional

Auto vs Manual Range and Span Control

Manual range and span control is a must in a thermal imaging system (IR Camera).

Range/Span is the total scope of temperature a camera measures from high to low at any moment. For example we can set a camera to measure temperatures between 30F to 200F. The delta T within that range is 170F. The thermal imager is going to assign a color range within that 170F degree range. The larger the range the less detail that can been seen within an image. So a 10F delta T range will have much more definition within the image than a 100F delta T.

Some thermal imaging systems do not allow for the user to assign the range/span value. These systems are generally the cheaper systems that manufacturers want to advertise strictly on price. In addition, many of these systems have a fixed focus which takes away even more user control.

Below are three images taken within 15 seconds of each other, from the same point and under the same conditions. Nothing changes within these images with the exception of the range/span.

Infrared Camera Auto Range / Span

Auto range/span. In this image the camera is set to auto assign the range and span.

Infrared Camera Manual Range / Span

Manual range/span (hot cup) In this image the user has set the range/span to isolate the temperatures within the hot cup. Note the detail in the image, especially on the inside of the top rim of the cup where the water is not touching. In addition the convection happening within the water itself is more defined.

Infrared Thermography Manual Range / Span Cold Cup

Manual range/span (cold cup) ­ In this image the user has set the range/span to isolate the temperatures within the cold cup. Note the detail on the top inner portion of the cup where the water is not touching.

As is evident within the three images, details can be missing with simple settings within a thermal imaging system. Thermal imaging systems without range/span do not show and tell the entire story. Often, details can be completely missing or difficult to pick out without proper settings within the camera.

For further information, applications analysis and IR camera selection help please visit us at or call 877-­207­-1244.

Jason Kaylor
AC Tool Supply
Net Zero Tools
[email protected]

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